5S: Commit to the Process

5S takes a commitment to excellence

4 min read The idea of 5S attracts a lot of “window shoppers,” who at first glance, become excited with the idea that they can transform their organization into a clean, organized, well working machine. However, turning their excitement into execution, is often times a challenge they are not prepared for. For many organizations, the challenge or lack of enthusiasm begins to set in after the third S. Once they have cleaned up and organized their facility, they …

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What are the Six Big Losses?

Trash bin with United States currency on white background

3 min read In the world of manufacturing there are several guarantees, unfortunately some are more welcome than others. The Six Big Losses are an unwelcome guest in manufacturing plants everywhere. They are the waste that robs you of productivity, opportunity, time, and money, without notice. The Six Big losses make no attempt to hide their whereabouts while providing you with hours of frustration and headache. To combat the Six Big Losses, you have to know the Six …

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Heijunka Overview

Overview of a factory at work

3 min read Toyota defines Heijunka as the overall leveling, in the production schedule , of the volume and variety of items produced in given time periods and adds that it is a pre-requisite for just-in-time delivery. The basic Japanese translation of Heijunka, is “levelization.” Why Heijunka? Production leveling, as it is also referred to is essential to any Lean facility in their pursuit to eliminate waste and improve their production efficiency. Demands frequently change and without the …

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Theory of Constraints: Part 4

Theory of Constraints

3 min read Welcome to the fourth entry in the Theory of Constraints series. Much of the first three entries covered the basics behind the theory, including a broad overview of the process and the Five Focusing Steps in part one, the Thinking process in part two, and the accounting method known as Throughput Accounting in part three. This post will now compare and contrast the Theory of Constraints and Lean thinking. Lean and the Theory of Constraints …

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Theory of Constraints: Part 3

Calculator and hand over blue sky background.

3 min read A major focus within the Theory of Constraints is on increasing sales, rather than cutting costs. To keep the focus on sales, implementers of the process use an accounting method known as Throughput Accounting. The following is the third entry in a series of posts that explore the Theory of Constraints and it’s methodology. Part one of the Theory of Constraints series, offered a broad overview of the process, defined constraints, and provided a simple …

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Theory of Constraints: Part 2

theory of constraints key to success

3 min read The following is the second entry into a series of ongoing posts that explores the Theory of Constraints and it’s methodology. Part one in the Theory of Constraints series gave a broad overview of the process, defined constraints, and offered a simple breakdown of the Five Focusing Steps. Part two will now expand on the Thinking Process behind the Theory of Constraints. The Theory of Constraints Thinking Process Like Lean, the Theory of Constraints takes …

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Theory of Constraints: Part 1

Graph showing arrow going up

3 min read The Theory of Constraints is a popular methodology for organizational change and improvement that was first conceptualized by Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt and¬†introduced through his bestselling novel, The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement.¬†The Theory of Constraints popularity grew quickly and is now a very popular methodology among many organizations. It’s growth and popularity has driven many to compare it to another improvement methodology that is also very popular –Lean. This is the first in a …

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Failure is a Matter of Perspective

success/failure

3 min read It’s nearly impossible to live your life without experiencing some form of failure. At some point if your life, you have more than likely failed at something. You can try to live cautiously and do only what’s necessary to avoid the risk of failure, but in the world of Lean, that is failure. To be great you have to take chances, you have to think outside of the box and be willing to accept the …

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A Creative Mind is A Productive Mind

Creative art

3 min read As each day comes and goes we often find ourselves just going through the motions as a means to get through them. We wake up, go to work, come home, and repeat. It’s a cycle that’s tough to break and while it may seem robotic from the outside, to you it’s just another day. Unfortunately, these types of mental slumps all but shut down our ability to spark creativity. One of the biggest factors in …

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Jidoka: The Other Pillar

Jidoka Pillar

3 min read If you were building a house and neglected to build the foundation first, chances are your home would crumble before long. Much can be said about Jidoka and the Toyota Production System (TPS). In fact, if we were to construct the TPS into a two pillar home, jidoka would be one of the pillars, with just-in-time (JIT) being the other. The home needs both pillars to stand tall and give the rest of the pieces …

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